This week kicks off preseason testing for Formula One 2023, and Mercedes is thinking ahead to the season that they will “eventually” be a frontrunner but will be “starting behind.”
Although the rebuilding Mercedes team anticipates “beginning behind” Red Bull and Ferrari in preseason testing for the 2023 Formula 1 season, team principal Toto Wolff is certain that Mercedes will “eventually” have a frontrunning car.
Due to the previous champion’s difficulties in 2018, Mercedes’ speed is a major talking point. After a season of redesigning their new W14 car, Mercedes were anticipated to start the season well. However, at their launch last week, Mercedes played down expectations, stating they were keeping “humble” and playing “catch-up.”
Mercedes will “eventually” have a fast enough vehicle, according to team head Toto Wolff, but only to “compete at the very front of the grid.”
To clarify his use of the term and Mercedes’ mindset entering the new season, Wolff stated “So I was contemplating about that word for 15 minutes when we talked about the press release! Because on one side, you want to say we will be competitive. On the other side, you need to stay humble and realistic. So you could be saying, I hope that we will be competitive.
“And the midway roundhouse is, we will be competitive. We just don’t know when. And that was the ‘eventually’.
“I think we are on the slope that we wanted to be on in terms of our performance but then you don’t know where the other ones are.
“I think humility is most important. We’ve always tried to be humble, and especially after last year. We need to remind ourselves that we were quite far off for a long time in the season.”
“We Can Close The Gap”: Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
Red Bull finished 244 points ahead of Mercedes last season. More than seven teams on the entire grid. Mercedes appear more pragmatic than optimistic for the upcoming season.
Technical Director Mike Elliott said, “We are under no illusions that it is going to be tough.”We are starting behind and we are not the favourites. That is an unusual position for us to be in over the last 10 years, but we are focused on ourselves and working out how we do the best job we can.”
Lewis Hamilton, who will again team up with Russell this season, called last year’s difficulties a “shock,” and he agreed: “I think this year everyone’s a lot more grounded.
“We perhaps won’t be the fastest out the gate, but we have the potential to hopefully be closer and to close the gap early on in the season.”
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